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Rna Double Helix Structure Identified Using Synchrotron Light
Although usually single-stranded, some RNA sequences have the ability to form a double helix, much like DNA. Scientists from McGill University successfully crystallized a short RNA sequence, poly (rA)11, and used data collected at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) and the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron to confirm the hypothesis of a poly (rA) double-helix.
Structure of poly (rA) duplex showing the two strands in orange/yellow and green/blue. Ammonium ions that stabilize the structure are shown as black balls. (Credit: Kathryn Janzen, Canadian Light Source)
Nozhat Safaee, Anne M. Noronha, Dmitry Rodionov, Guennadi Kozlov, Christopher J. Wilds, George M. Sheldrick, Kalle Gehring. Structure of the Parallel Duplex of Poly(A) RNA: Evaluation of a 50 Year-Old Prediction. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/anie.201303461